TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Batch Processing
Volume Number:9
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:Jörg's Folder

Related Info: Apple Event Mgr Edition Manager Event Manager

Batch Processing with Apple Events

Solutions for a specific batch task

By Jörg Langowski, MacTech Magazine Regular Contributing Author

Note: Source code files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks.

This column was initiated by a reader’s question:

“Dear Jörg,

I am looking for a way to simulate batch files on the mac. I need to run two Fortran programs sequentially, then open Excel and run a macro on the results. What should I use? Can it be done? If you can solve this I'll subscribe!”

Homer Bartlett, Microstar Inc.

Well, we always welcome new subscribers, and your question is actually of very general interest; so this month I’ll write about ‘batch processing with Apple Events’. This is actually a rather ambitious title for what we’ll be doing, sending a couple of Apple Events to other programs to make them do their things; but didn’t the headline catch your eye? So there.

I have found three principal ways to install a way of ‘batch processing’ like Homer Bartlett asked for. a) you write a Fortran program that sends an ‘oapp’ Apple Event to each of the two programs that you want to execute. These two programs leave intermediate results in files. Then, the Fortran program opens Excel (again via an Apple Event), and makes Excel execute a macro file. How this is done, you’ll see soon. b) you write a Fortran program that calls the two other programs via Apple Events as before, but the intermediate results are left in edition files that can be handled by System 7’s Edition Manager. Excel 3.0 and higher supports Subscribe and Publish; if an Excel worksheet is opened that subscribes to those edition files, the data will automatically be updated when the edition is modified. And, last one and easiest one, c) you control everything from Excel - the execution of the two Fortran programs and the following running of the macro. I’ll give you examples for all three of these procedures.

First of all, let’s write two little Fortran programs that calculate our ‘results’ and write them to files. They’re at the start of the example: one calculates a sine curve, the other an exponential, and the Excel macro will later open the files and read them into a worksheet where the results are multiplied and displayed in a graph.

Opening an application from Fortran

Language Systems Fortran provides a rather convenient interface to the four basic required Apple Events. There is a routine F_SendEvent that takes 3 parameters: first a character*4 constant which is the Apple event ID, then a string that specifies the target application and finally an optional document name (also a string). Thus, to open Microsoft Excel from a Fortran program, you might include the line

call F_SendEvent(‘oapp’,’Microsoft Excel’,’’)

and to open the worksheet ‘SinExp’ from Excel

call F_SendEvent(‘odoc’,’Microsoft Excel’,’SinExp’)

These commands are contained in the main program of listing 1. First, in fact, we call the two programs that generate our data, both using the ‘oapp’ event, and then we send the ‘odoc’ event to Excel for opening the macro sheet that opens and multiplies the two output files. Since the program continues after sending the ‘oapp’ event without waiting that the called program has actually written the file, we check whether the output files are actually there before continuing with the macro execution. We assume here that Excel is already open; I did not want to hard code a line that contained the full access path for opening Excel, because that is obviously different from Macintosh to Macintosh. So make sure Excel is open before you run the program.

When the Excel macro sheet has been opened, Excel is ready for executing the macro. Now, how do you make Excel execute a macro - or any command for that matter - from the outside, by sending an Apple event? This is documented in two places: You can either get the ‘Excel 4.0 Software Development Kit’ from Microsoft, or download a file that you can find on AppleLink where the Apple events are described that Excel understands. I downloaded the file, you find it in the archives of the Apple Events discussion in Developer support:System 7 talk. It’s somewhere in April/May 1992; search for ‘Excel’ and you’ll find it; it is a posting by Ben Waldman from Microsoft. The file with the full description of the Apple events understood by Excel is too long to be printed here (45 pages of MS Word text, that would take a full issue of this magazine!). But here, we need only one very basic Apple event, the ‘dosc’ event that is becoming a kind of a standard for remote command execution; for instance HyperCard and the MPW tool server also understand it. The ‘dosc’ event contains a text parameter, which is simply a script of commands to execute by the program; in HyperCard, those are Hypertalk commands and in Excel, any valid Excel command or function.

Language Systems Fortran contains a function that lets you send a script to another program through the ‘dosc’ event. The script lines are defined in a character array, e.g.,

character *40 script(10)

will allow you to write a script of 10 lines of 40 characters maximum each. The function call

Error = F_SendScript('Microsoft Excel',script,10)

would then send the ten lines to the application ‘Microsoft Excel’, which executes them. In our case, we send only one line

'RUN("SinExp!R1C1") '

which is the command to execute the macro starting at row 1, column 1 in the open macro sheet ‘SinExp’. Note that Excel scripts that are sent by Apple events never contain equal signs in front of the command, unlike the same command contained in a worksheet or macro sheet.

So here you go - we have created a Fortran program that calls two other programs and then runs an Excel macro on the results. But there are two other ways to achieve a similar result.

Publish/Subscribe

First of all, one can use the Edition manager, part of System 7. Using this service, a program can ‘publish’ an ‘edition’ of some data, and another program can ‘subscribe’ to it. The publisher and subscriber are then automatically linked together through Apple events so that the data that the subscriber ‘sees’ gets automatically updated when the publisher changes it.

Language Systems Fortran supports the Edition manager. When you open a Fortran file, write data to it, and close it with status=’publish’, you create an edition of that file. Excel 4.0, for instance, can subscribe to such an edition. Doing that from Excel is easy: you select a range of cells and then select ‘Subscribe to ’ from the Edit menu. You can then select an edition file which will be used to update automatically this selected range of cells. In the source code disk, I have already defined a worksheet that contains subscribers to the two data files that are generated by the two Fortran programs.

Listing 2 gives the program example. Here the two ‘data-generating’ parts are implemented as subroutines that can be selected from a menu in the main Fortran program. When you first write the data files, the editions are created. Excel can then subscribe to them, which is done in the worksheet, and a graph is linked to the data. When you then go back to the Fortran program and recalculate the data in the two files with other parameters, you’ll see that the graph also changes (almost) instantaneously.

Calling Fortran programs from Excel macros

This is the last possibility that I found, and it might be the easiest one. There is a function in Excel called EXEC( ) which allows you to execute a program from within Excel. Listing 3 shows a macro which calls the two Fortran programs that create the data files, and then does the calculations and creates a graph like the previous macro. You don’t need to compile a main Fortran program as in the first example, but just execute a sequence of Excel commands which may even be contained in a text file. In fact, this last example might come closest to answer Homer Bartlett’s original question, which was a way to simulate batch files on the Macintosh.

Last remark: I have seen a lot of discussion going on lately about Frontier, a scripting system for the Macintosh developed by UserLand Software. Although I have never seen the product, I’d like to write about it sooner or later when I get hold of it and find the time for writing.

See you next month.

Listing1: Calling other Fortran programs and an Excel macro from Fortran

a. The called programs
    (compile and link using the RunNoWindow script)

 program doExp
 real exptab(100),period
 
 parameter (period=30.0)
 
 do j = 1,100
 exptab(j) = exp(-j/period)
 end do
 
 open(10,file='expData')
 write(10,100) exptab
 close(10)
 
100format(x,f10.2)
 end

 program doSine
 real sintab(100),period
 parameter (twopi = 6.283185,period = 15.0)
 
 do j = 1,100
 sintab(j) = sin(twopi*j/period)
 end do
 
 open(10,file='SinData')
 write(10,100) sintab
 close(10)
 
100format(x,f10.2)
 end

b. The main program

cSends commands to excel via the 'dosc' event.
c
cCompile with -bkg=4.
c
 program SendScript

 integer*2 err, F_SendScript
 external F_SendScript
 character*30  ch
 logical exists
 
 ch = 'RUN("SinExp!R1C1") '

 type *, 'Generating Data '
 
 Error = F_SendEvent('oapp','sinus','')
 call checkError(Error)

 Error = F_SendEvent('oapp','expo','')
 call checkError(Error)
 
 exists = .false.
 do while (.not. exists)
 inquire(file='expData',exist=exists)
 end do
 
 exists = .false.
 do while (.not. exists)
 inquire(file='SinData',exist=exists)
 end do
 
 type *, 'Opening Macro sheet '

 Error = F_SendEvent('odoc','Microsoft Excel',     *           
 'SinExp')
 call checkError(Error)

 type *, 'Running Macro '

 Error = F_SendScript('Microsoft Excel',ch,1)

 call checkError(Error)

 type *, 'Quitting Excel '

 Error = F_SendEvent('quit','Microsoft Excel','')
 call checkError(Error)

 end

 subroutine checkError(Error)
 integer*2Error
 character*10  ch5
 if (Error <> 0) then
 write(ch5,'(i10)') Error
 call alertbox('Error '//ch5//' occurred.')
 write(*,*) 'Error '//ch5//' occurred.'
 stop
 end if
 end

c. The Excel macro

"=OPEN(""expData"")"
"=OPEN(""SinData"")"
"=SELECT(""R1C2"")"
"=FORMULA(""=expData!RC[-1]*RC[-1]"")"
"=SELECT(""R1C2:R100C2"")"
=FILL.DOWN()
"=NEW(2,1)"
"=GALLERY.LINE(2,TRUE)"
"=ACTIVATE(""SinData"")"
=CLOSE(FALSE)
"=FILE.DELETE(""SinData"")"
"=ACTIVATE(""expData"")"
=CLOSE(FALSE)
"=FILE.DELETE(""expData"")"
=RETURN()
Listing 2: Excel/Fortran interface via Publish/Subscribe


 program PublishDemo
 integer*2Error,F_SendEvent
 external F_SendEvent
 external doPublish,doExit
 
 call moveoutwindow(20,40,300,300)
 call addmenuitem('Publish','Publish Sine',doSine)
 call addmenuitem('Publish','Publish Exp',doExp)

 write(*,*)
 write(*,*) 'Opening Application  Excel '
 write(*,*)
 write(*,*) 'Opening SinExpTable '
 Error = F_SendEvent('odoc','Microsoft Excel', *   'SinExpTable')
 call checkError(Error)

 write(*,*)
 write(*,*) 'Opening SinExpChart '
 Error = F_SendEvent('odoc','Microsoft Excel', *   'SinExpChart')
 call checkError(Error)

 write(*,*)
 write(*,*) 'Use the Publish menu to update the Excel
 1 chart.'
 
 call SetExitProc(doExit)
 end
 
 subroutine checkError(Error)
 integer*2Error
 character*5ch5
 if (Error <> 0) then
 write(ch5,'(i5)') Error
 call alertbox('Error '//ch5//' occurred.')
 write(*,*) 'Error '//ch5//' occurred.'
 stop
 end if
 end
 
!!mp inlines.f
 subroutine doSine
 real   sintab(100),period
 parameter (twopi = 6.283185)
 
 type *,"Enter period of sine in steps: "
 accept *,period
 do j = 1,100
 sintab(j) = sin(twopi*j/period)
 end do
 
 open(10,file='SinData')
 write(10,100) sintab
 close(10,status='Publish')
 
100format(x,f10.2)
 end

 subroutine doExp
 real   exptab(100),period
 
 type *,"Enter decay period in steps: "
 accept *,period
 do j = 1,100
 exptab(j) = exp(-j/period)
 end do
 
 open(10,file='expData')
 write(10,100) exptab
 close(10,status='Publish')
 
100format(x,f10.2)
 end

 subroutine doExit()
 integer*2Error,F_SendEvent
 external F_SendEvent

 Error = F_SendEvent('quit','Microsoft Excel','')
 call checkError(Error)
 end
Listing 3: Calling Fortran programs from an Excel macro
(this assumes that the Fortran programs are in the same folder as Excel)

"=EXEC(""expo"")"
"=EXEC(""sinus"")"
"=WAIT(NOW()+""00:00:05"")"
"=OPEN(""expData"")"
"=OPEN(""SinData"")"
"=SELECT(""R1C2"")"
"=FORMULA(""=expData!RC[-1]*RC[-1]"")"
"=SELECT(""R1C2:R100C2"")"
=FILL.DOWN()
"=NEW(2,1)"
"=GALLERY.LINE(2,TRUE)"
"=ACTIVATE(""SinData"")"
=CLOSE(FALSE)
"=FILE.DELETE(""SinData"")"
"=ACTIVATE(""expData"")"
=CLOSE(FALSE)
"=FILE.DELETE(""expData"")"
=RETURN()

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Tor Browser 11.5.8 - Anonymize Web brows...
Using Tor Browser you can protect yourself against tracking, surveillance, and censorship. Tor was originally designed, implemented, and deployed as a third-generation onion-routing project of the U.... Read more
Alarm Clock Pro 15.0 - $19.95 (91% off)
Alarm Clock Pro isn't just an ordinary alarm clock. Use it to wake you up in the morning, send and compose e-mails, remind you of appointments, randomize the iTunes selection, control an internet... Read more
Google Chrome 107.0.5304.121 - Modern an...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
calibre 6.9.0 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Safari Technology Preview 16.4 - The new...
Safari Technology Preview contains the most recent additions and improvements to WebKit and the latest advances in Safari web technologies. And once installed, you will receive notifications of... Read more
FileZilla 3.62.2 - Fast and reliable FTP...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface. The FileZilla Client not only supports FTP, but also FTP over TLS... Read more
djay Pro 4.0.13 - Transform your Mac int...
djay Pro provides a complete toolkit for performing DJs. Its unique modern interface is built around a sophisticated integration with iTunes and Spotify, giving you instant access to millions of... Read more
Opera 93.0.4585.21 - High-performance We...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
AppCleaner 3.6.6 - Uninstall your apps e...
AppCleaner allows you to uninstall your apps easily. It searches the files created by the applications and you can delete them quickly. Supports macOS Ventura. Fixed an issue causing failed updates... Read more
QuickBooks 21.0.7.1248 - Financial manag...
QuickBooks helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save. Built for... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

‘Top Hunter Roddy & Cathy’ Review –...
The NEOGEO is generally characterized by, with only a few notable exceptions, fighting games and Metal Slug. Within a couple of years of its launch, the vast majority of the output on the console seemed to be mining (quite successfully) a few... | Read more »
SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring...
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for November 28th, 2022. In today’s article, we’ve got a pair of reviews to check out. Full reviews of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet and The Oregon Trail are waiting for you to read. There’... | Read more »
‘OPUS: Echo of Starsong’ Interview: Port...
With OPUS: Echo of Starsong ($8.99) having finally launched on iOS after hitting PC and consoles, I had a chance to talk to Scott Chen who is the co-founder and executive producer of Sigono. In our chat, I touched on topics like game subscription... | Read more »
Best iPhone Game Updates: ‘Rush Rally 3’...
Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It’s time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. As November breaths its last, the holiday season is right around the corner. That means we should start seeing more... | Read more »
‘Total Football’ is an Arcade-Style Socc...
GALA SPORTS recently launched its brand new soccer title, Total Football, and, true to its name, it is a pure arcade-style soccer game in the same vein as FIFA Mobile and PES Mobile. It also features official licensing from FIFPro and Manchester... | Read more »
Genshin Impact will recieve two new char...
HoYoverse has announced that Genshin Impacts version 3.3 will be arriving on December 7th. Titled All Senses Clear, All Existence Void, the update will bring two powerful new characters and a brand new card-based minigame. [Read more] | Read more »
‘Wreckfest’ Mobile Compared With Console...
HandyGames’ mobile version of Bugbear’s demolition derby-style racer Wreckfest ($9.99) released on iOS and Android recently, and we featured it as our Game of the Week. | Read more »
Black Friday Deals Here – The TouchArcad...
After taking a couple of weeks off we return on this glorious Black Friday with another episode of The TouchArcade Show. We get into a big discussion about virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google, and their place in the greater smarthome... | Read more »
TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Station 1...
I’m a big fan of Glitch Games and their unique brand of point-and-click adventure/escape room/puzzle games, and while they’re a tiny outfit and there’d typically be a couple years gap in-between their new releases, they were always worth the wait.... | Read more »
SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Super Lone Survi...
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for November 25th, 2022. Today we look at the remaining releases for the week, and I’ll be honest with you: it’s not a great assortment. Still, there are at least a couple of things... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Cyber Monday: 24″ Apple M1 iMacs for $150 off...
Amazon has Apple’s 24″ M1 iMacs on Black Friday sale for $150 off MSRP. Their prices are currently the lowest available for new iMacs among the Apple retailers we track: – 24″ M1 iMacs (8-Core CPU/7-... Read more
Cyber Monday Sale: 25% off Apple MagSafe acce...
Apple retailers are offering MagSafe accessories for up to 25% off MSRP for Cyber Monday. Here are the best deals available, currently from Verizon and Amazon: (1) Verizon has Apple MagSafe Chargers... Read more
Cyber Monday Sale: Apple AirPods for up to $1...
Looking for Apple AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max this Cyber Monday? Look no further than our Apple AirPods Price Tracker. We track prices from 20+ Apple retailers and update the tracker... Read more
Final day for Apple’s Black Friday/Cyber Mond...
CYBER MONDAY Apple’s four day Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2022 event is now live and will run from November 25, 2022 to November 28, 2022 (ends today!). Receive a free $100-$250 Apple Gift Card with... Read more
Cyber Monday: Apple 13″ M2 MacBook Airs for $...
Apple retailers have posted their Cyber Monday prices on 13″ MacBook Airs. Take up to $200 off MSRP on M2-powered Airs with these sales with prices starting at only $1049. Free shipping is available... Read more
The best Cyber Monday iPhone sale? This $500...
If you switch to Xfinity Mobile and open a new line of service, they will take $500 off the price of a new iPhone, no trade-in required. This is the best no trade-in Cyber Monday Apple iPhone 14 deal... Read more
Cyber Monday Sale: Apple 16″ MacBook Pros for...
Amazon is offering $500 off MSRP discounts on Apple 16″ MacBook Pros with M1 Pro CPUs as part of their Cyber Monday sale. Their prices are the lowest available for these models from any Apple... Read more
Cyber Monday Sale: Apple 14″ MacBook Pros for...
Amazon is offering $300-$500 off MSRP discounts on Apple 14-inch MacBook Pros with M1 Pro CPUs as part of their Cyber Monday sale. Their prices are the lowest available for these models from any... Read more
Cyber Monday Sale: Apple Watch Ultra for $60...
Amazon has Apple Watch Ultra models (Alpine Loop, Trail Loop, and Opean Bans) on sale for $60 off MSRP as part of their Cyber Monday sale, each including free shipping, reducing the price for an... Read more
Cyber Monday MacBook Sale: 13″ M1 Apple MacBo...
Amazon has Apple 13″ M1 MacBook Airs back on sale for $200 off MSRP, starting at only $799, for Cyber Monday 2022. Their prices are the lowest available for new MacBooks this Cyber Monday. Stock may... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Electronic Repair Technician - PlanI...
…a highly motivated individual to join our Production Department as an Apple Electronic Repair Technician. The computer repair technician will diagnose, assemble, Read more
Product Manager II - *Apple* - DISH (United...
…you will be doing We seek an ambitious, data-driven thinker to assist the Apple Product Development team as our new Retail Wireless division continues to grow and Read more
Staff Engineer 5G Protocol, *Apple* - DISH...
…metrics. Essential Functions and Responsibilities for a Staff Engineer 5G protocol( Apple ) Knowledge of 5G and 4G/LTE protocols and system architectures Experience Read more
Cashier - *Apple* Blossom Mall - JCPenney (...
Cashier - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Blossom Mall Read more
Omnichannel Associate - *Apple* Blossom Mal...
Omnichannel Associate - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.